Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Thanksgiving...A Bit Late

Better late than never is my motto...I haven't had any time to post about our Thanksgiving so bear with me.

We had such beautiful weather that day. It was so warm we had the patio doors open most of the day. I think the temperature made it into the high 70's. I was actually hoping for chilly weather so we could have had a fire in the fireplace but no such luck.

The house was cleaned to within an inch of its life!!
HB helped me and it all looked so nice even if I do say so myself.
You can see the sun streaming in the front window.


The table was set and waiting for guests...
(I hate that chandelier!)

We had eight people including me and HB. Luckily my daughter and grandson were able to make it at the last minute. We thought they were going to have to work but they didn't. It was a fun day with lots of laughing, chatting, and mostly eating! HB cooked a 22 pound turkey and a spiral cut ham. We also had all the traditional side dishes. One of our guests brought homemade cranberry sauce which was very good. But my favorite part of the meal (any meal!!) was the desserts. I made a pumpkin pie and a turtle cheesecake. My guests brought a banana cream pie and some pumpkin bites. It was all yummy! The only food I managed to get a photo of was the cheesecake...please overlook the Christmas plate it's on. I didn't have any plate big enough except for that one. No one seemed to mind!

In case you would like to try it, the recipe for the cheesecake can be found here. It was soooo good!

Julie Balzar has a challenge going on this month, to carve a stamp each day. I love carving stamps so this is right up my alley. The only problem is I only had those small white erasers to carve on. So for my first day nothing too exciting...just my initials...

As you can see on my trial print, I tried two different "B" stamps but liked the one without the centers. Now I just have to get some carving blocks so I can do something a bit more exciting for the coming days. I'm not sure I'll make a stamp every single day but I will definitely make a few.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Bit of Art...a Bit of Knitting...

HB and I have been doing our fall house cleaning so things have been topsy-turvy around here. We're almost finished, and it's a good thing because we're having Thanksgiving dinner at our house. Two women from my art journal class will be coming...one is single and the other is married and her grown son and husband will be joining us, too. Hopefully my daughter will be able to be here but her work schedule might upset the apple cart. We're keeping our fingers crossed that she will not have to work on Thanksgiving.

The art situation has been glum but this morning I managed to do a little bit. I have had a couple of sheets of scrapbook paper with images from cities...one from Russia that looks like this...

and another one from England. Unfortunately I didn't think to snap a pic of it before I worked with it.

I used neocolor II's for the face and a water soluble ballpoint pen with water for the outlines.

I like how she turned out. I'm calling it Dreaming of Home...much of my family comes from England.


I think I've mentioned that I'm going to a beginner's knitting class at Legacy Commons. The woman who teaches it is fantastic...very patient and kind. I've had knitting lessons before but I never made anything more than a scarf and I never followed a pattern...until now! Here is my first ever project following a pattern...

I made slippers! I haven't put the cord through the holes yet, and I'm also going to add a pom-pom to the toe. I know they aren't perfect but I'm so excited to have made them and most of it was done at home after Denise (the instructor) got me started. I just used some left-over yarn I had but I think they look pretty good.

That gave me the confidence to start something else on my own. I made a dishcloth. I know that might not seem like much to anyone who knits but for me it was my first project started and finished completely on my own using a pattern.

It's a little wonky but for dishes it will be just fine. Now I think I'll try a shawl. I may become a knitter after all. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Magnolia Kiss

I haven't had much time to make art but yesterday during class I managed to do a little bit. I finished this up this morning...

I used paper napkins for her flowers and the butterfly. I did the face with Neocolor II's and like how it turned out. I thought she looked as if she was going to kiss the butterfly so I named her Magnolia Kiss.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Birds and a Girl...

Some people in my journal class requested I do another demo on how I do mixed media art so I did another girl...

Most of this background was already done and had been hanging around in my studio. I just did a bit more to it and added the girl.

Then if you remember I showed another background in my previous post...I finished it yesterday. Here it is...

The lighting wasn't very good when I took this. It's much more vibrant in real life. Since I already had most of  the word "family" up at the top, and the birds were already stamped, it felt right to add a Momma bird.

I still had birds on my mind so this one came together really fast. I did most of this background in my class and added the rest once I got home.

That's all I have for now. Today is our errand day so I won't have much time for art. It's finally cooled off and we've actually had some fall-like weather...we even had a fire in the fireplace a couple of nights ago. Our first one of the season. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope wherever you are that you're having some good weather, too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

More This and That...

Yesterday was my journal class and several of the women had requested doing something doll-like for their journals. So this is what I did...

It's actually done on a wood plaque from the Dollar Store but it could easily be done in a journal as they soon found out. I'm still challenged by the fact that many of them want "perfection" in their art. I've been trying for over a year to get them to let go and just play but some of them just can't do it. I was hoping this technique would loosen them up because it's that "messy" style of art. Next week I'll see if it worked!

They "ooh" and "ahh" over my journals but can't seem to understand that to get "that" look they have to be willing to just let things happen however they happen.

This journal spread is all magazine pages...even the black background. I did some of my fake writing in white all over the pages and then added  bright flowers. Nothing great, but I had fun with it. For some reason I love doing the fake writing. That's one area where I'm fairly neat (my handwriting) so maybe I like the messiness of it.

On this journal spread I had scraped off some different shades of brown paint, then much later tried out a stamp I made using red paint. It sat like that for quite some time and recently I added the red and brown circles and other dots and embellishments. It needs some words so they will come next. I've found that many of my journal spreads take a long time to finish. I put something down, then leave it until I feel inspired again.

And lastly, here's a background that I'm working on. Not sure where it's going yet but I have a couple of ideas. Most of the things I do like this go to the salon to be sold.

Today I'm doing laundry (one of my favorite chores) and trying to catch up on some classes I've taken. It's sunny and going into the high 70's today. I hope you have a great day!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Doing a Little Bit of This and That...

This post is going to be a little of this and a little of that. A couple of weeks ago one of the women in my journal class, Lee Ann, asked me if I'd like to participate in her weekly get-together at her apartment complex. She has been teaching some of the women there about art journaling. I jumped at the chance!! Here is a pic of Lee Ann (top right) and some of her friends...

We had a fun time. In fact we ran over about an hour because we just kept talking. They had lots of questions for me...some I could answer and some I couldn't. I don't think there's anything more rewarding than getting together with other creative people and just spending time creating and talking.
On Thursdays I go to a knitting group at Legacy Commons. We have a good instructor, Denise, and she is getting me back into knitting. I'm still what I would classify as a beginner but I enjoy it. Here is a scarf I'm working on right now...

I'm using Lion Brand Color Waves in Purple Vista. The colors are richer than they are in the photo and not so blue...more purple. It's a simple scarf . I've had this yarn for several years so I thought I'd better start using it for something. Unless it gets really cold I seldom wear scarves but I guess it could be a gift for someone. I just like the meditative quality of sitting and knitting...it's relaxing.

Do you ever go back through your art journals and re-do or add to a page that you thought was finished? I've been doing that lately. If you've been around here for a while you may remember this journal spread...

I had all the background done on this spread and it's been sitting like that for a couple of years. Finally I just added "create" on one page and "every day" on the other, dated it and called it good.

Just adding those words seemed to finish off this spread. I'm happy that I left it alone until I felt ready to add the final touches. I have a few more journal pages that I added to so I'll share those in my next post.

And last but not least...look at these gorgeous flowers my neighbor brought to me last week. They're my favorite color, too...

Aren't they beautiful?!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

No Wind Means Only One Thing...

We are having the most beautiful weather right now...high's in the upper 70's and into the 50's at night with lots of sunshine and blue skies. I love it!! And most of all, there hasn't been very much wind. I used to make spray painted papers several years ago and always had fun doing them. My biggest problem was finding a time when the wind wasn't blowing.

Yesterday those cans of spray paint were calling my name...
there was barely even a breeze.

I set up a temporary work table with an old piece of wall board and a couple of saw horses HB had in the garage. Here are a few of my stencils drying in the sun after being used and abused! I've had these stencils for a long time and many of them were just paper to begin with...but after umpteen layers of paint they are just as sturdy as the plastic ones.

There were lots of papers drying on the patio table...
(don't look too close at all the dust!)

Here you can see my set-up and lots of drying papers. I even spray painted some newspaper. But mostly I used deli paper. I love the crisp black and white designs although I did do a few colors.

Just a note about Liquitex spray paints...my experience has been very negative. I love the colors but they don't work worth a darn. I cleaned the spray tips and even after that they still wouldn't spray without dribbling all over. And one can, which is almost completely full, won't spray at all even after repeatedly cleaning the spray tip. I'll stick to the cheaper spray paints I can buy at Lowe's or Home Depot. That's just my opinion. Mostly I ended up using the Liquitex cans as paper weights!!

Just look at all that great collage paper. And it only took me a few minutes to make a huge stack. I have enough to last me until another wind-free day! Today I think I'll work on something using a few of these.

Do you like to spray paint papers??
And then, do you actually use them?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Some New Mixed Media Pieces...

It was time to start making some new things to sell 
so here are a few that I've finished...

They are all 6" x 6"
and about 1.5" deep.

This is the kind of art I always enjoy doing...
just playing, layering, and seeing what appears to me.

I've been absent from Blogland again!
I simply have too many irons in the fire!
Am I gonna slow down??
I'm having too much fun!

Friday, October 10, 2014

My Latest Painting...as Promised

I know I'm late but here is my new painting as promised. I'll probably add a few smaller branches and some highlights but basically this is it. I saw something similar on YouTube and wanted to try it. I always love doing tree paintings.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

A WIP and a Goof-Up...

It's now been over one year since I began teaching art journaling at Legacy Commons so I've been busy thinking of new ways to teach and new techniques, etc. I'm trying to come up with a schedule of what we will be doing each month and since I don't have a clue about stuff like that it's slow going.

But as I said in my last post, I've been keeping busy in the studio, too. I have this WIP...

I've got this far and can't seem to get to the next step. That piece of orangey paper on the right side makes me think of a flag on a golf course so now that's all I can see! HB turned it the other way and said it reminded him of Christmas ornaments hanging but the colors are all wrong for that. I'm not sure what to do with it but I'll think of something even it is to gesso over it and start again!

Even though I penciled in the words on this piece I still got them crooked!

The girl is one I did several years ago. I printed her out and used her again but now the words are at a weird angle. Maybe I can add some swirls or something to help make them look better. I hate when I spend time on something and then at the very last minute I mess it up.

I have a new painting I've been working on so I'll put that on tomorrow. I'll be spending the day with one of the women from my journal class. She has invited me over to a little art group she has started in her apartment complex. It should be fun...I'm looking forward to it.

I hope you're all doing lots of art and having fun, too.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Whew! I've Been Busy...

Once again time has slipped by and my poor blog has suffered. I guess it's a good thing that I'm still so busy but it sure doesn't do much for my readers...if there are any left!

Here's just a little bit of what I've been doing...

Getting some work done in my art journal...
thinking of ideas for my class 
and using up paint from another project.

I also did some gelli prints...

I think I could print these all day, every day. I love doing them because I never know exactly what I'm going to get. I'm accumulating quite a stack of these, and I do use them. Mostly I like printing on deli paper but I also use printer paper...even old paper that has printing on one side.

Recently I bought several stencils to use with my gelli plate. My motto is you can never have too many stencils!

These are small wood plaques I bought at the dollar store...

then I did my own art on them. They're about 6" x 6".
I used paper that I had painted plus a stamp that I made
and a couple of other stamps that I purchased.
I like making these little bits of art.

There are lots more things to share...I have really been busy!...but I'll wait and show them in the coming days.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Little Bit of Art...and Many Thanks

First let me say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who commented and emailed on my birthday. I truly appreciate every one of your messages. I've had so many that I'm way behind in answering them. It's been the same way IRL. Yesterday I had lunch with two friends from my journal class and I think that wraps up my super busy week. It has been non-stop all week long. Every day I had something to do and that meant no studio time. I'm missing that.

I did manage one journal page that I can share with you for a little bit of art...

Some of the newer people in the journal class asked for a simple, guided instruction for a journal page. I saw something similar to this on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect. I used crayons to color in some circles, then drew around them with a pen, added some black circles in-between, and then wrote over the rest of the page. To make it really simple I chose song lyrics...Beautiful by Christina Aguilera. The words don't apply to my life but it worked for this piece.

Sadly, most of the newer people didn't "get it" at all. They used coins and other circular objects to make "perfect" circles and completely missed the spontaneity of the page. I'll have to keep working on getting them to see that part of journaling.

This is the only other thing I have to share. It's a photo my daughter took at the Encore Art Show. She recently sent it over to me. 

This photo was taken outside, at night, on the patio of the Palmdale Playhouse so the lighting was terrible. This is me with the Mayor of Palmdale, James C. Ledford, who is serving his eleventh term in office. Mayor Ledford is very supportive of the arts and also of Legacy Commons. And he's a very nice man! He was there for the entire evening and talked with everyone. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Big 71...

I don't live anywhere near this highway; it's the Chino Valley Highway... but it is significant to me today, the 264th day of the year. It represents my age as of 7:37 AM (Illinois time)...

This is the year I was born...seems ancient, doesn't it?? If you'd like to know about what the world was like 71 years ago, back in the Dark Ages, you can click here to read a little bit about it. No cell phones, no laptops...people actually had to talk to each other!!  The really good thing about my birth date is that it's also International Day of Peace.

This is me at 10 days old...

and this is me as of yesterday...

Big difference!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Encore Art Show

Thursday evening was the art reception for Encore at the Palmdale Playhouse and was I ever amazed. It was wall-to-wall people! So many people that you could barely move up and down the area to view the art. Luckily my piece was hanging right at the front...second one on the wall.

Once again all the overhead spotlights wash out my hair and face. It makes my hair just disappear! The good thing is I sold my painting!

After seeing all the entries I knew I didn't have a chance at winning. This is the first place winner...

It was incredible! The detail was just mind boggling. I can see why it won first place and I agree with the judges.

This is the second place winner. It's pretty amazing, too.

This is the third place winner.

This is a charcoal drawing done by my friend, Juanita.
I really like this piece.

This painting was done by a young woman in a wheelchair.

And this is a digital photo.
In person it has a real impact.

We had such a good time and there were so many more wonderful pieces of art. I saw some people from the art shows at Legacy Commons and met some new people, too. My daughter came up for the show and that was nice. There was so much food, wine, soft drinks, etc...here is some of the food...

It was a fun evening and we enjoyed every minute of it. To close things off here's a photo of me and some of my friends, or as HB calls them, "my posse"...

Now I need to get busy and make some more art!!